University of Delaware - College of Engineering
COMPUTER & INFORMATION SCIENCES

Undergraduate

Concentrations for the BS Degree in Computer Science

Catalog description:

CISC Concentration (12) Twelve credits in advanced courses in an advisor-approved concentration. Students are encouraged to explore how other subject areas impact and are impacted by computer science. Concentration courses must be distinct from courses taken to satisfy other CISC requirements.

What is a concentration?

The concentration must be a coherent group of advanced courses that is relevant to integrating computer science with your career goals. Note that the concentration may consist solely of courses outside the CIS Department, or solely of courses within the CIS Department, or a combination of courses both inside and outside the CIS Department, but students are encouraged to select concentrations that involve courses outside of computer science. Students are encouraged to pursue a topic that transcends departmental boundaries, perhaps involving courses from multiple departments. The 12 credits in the concentration are intended to develop a student's knowledge in computer science and/or its relationships to other areas.

Students are encouraged to pursue double majors or minors in other departments. In support of that, courses taken toward the major or minor in the other department can often be used as part of the concentration requirement for a Bachelor of Science in computer science.

What courses are eligible for a concentration?

Concentration courses should generally be advanced courses in a discipline, which is interpreted as a course numbered 300 and above or a course having prerequisites of other courses in that Department. Advisor approval of a concentration is REQUIRED prior to taking a concentration course. Approval of a concentration is dependent on the coherence among the courses and the rationale for the concentration as being relevant to the student's career goals in computer science and the other courses selected by the student as technical electives. For example, a student who is interested in applying his computer science expertise to the area of technical publications might have an approved concentration that involves courses from the English department and the Communications Department. A student who is interested in a business career might choose a concentration consisting of courses from the College of Business leading to a minor in Business Administration. The approval is dependent on the coherence among the courses as established by the rationale for the concentration. On the other hand, a student who is interested in educational technology might have a concentration consisting of some courses from the CIS Department and some courses from the College of Education. Note that concentrations will not be approved just because a student wants to take courses in some other department --- the concentration must be relevant to the student's career goals for his computer science major.

When and how do I get a concentration approved?

The student should start a discussion with his/her advisor concerning the concentration during the sophomore year. This discussion should start with a topic area, and move on to developing a list of possible courses, and a rationale for the choices. After an agreed plan is reached with your advisor (generally by the end of the sophomore year), submit (1) your concentration title, (2) concentration course list, and (3) concentration rationale by email to your advisor who will enter it into the SIS+ advisor notes system. The course list must include 4 courses meeting the advanced course guidelines and form a coherent set of courses related to your computer science career goals. In case you are unsure which of several appropriate courses you may take in the future, it is acceptable to put some alternatives in the concentration course list, such as "4 of these 5 courses" or "these two plus two of the following 4".

Some sample concentrations:

The following are some concentrations that have been approved or suggested over the last few years. These are examples of concentration subject areas and their rationale. Some courses are listed that fit in with that rationale. They are suggestions only. A concentration with the same or similar title could have different courses in it and a different rationale. Please be aware that some courses are not offered every semester (or even every year) and thus you may have difficulty fitting courses into your schedule at the last minute. This is one reason to start thinking about a concentration early.

Concentration title: Artificial Intelligence

Rationale:

Many problems do not have algorithmic solutions. Artificial Intelligence is the study of computer information processing to deal with such problems or to simulate some aspect(s) of intelligent behavior.

For the BS in CIS concentration in Artificial Intelligence, a choice of 4 of the following courses would likely meet your advisor's approval. This list is not intended to be exhaustive; other courses may fit equally well into this concentration.

Courses:

  • CISC 481 Artificial Intelligence
  • CISC 489 Topics: Artificial Intelligence
  • CISC 882 Natural Language Processing
  • CISC 884 Knowledge Representation
  • CISC 889 Topics: Internet Information Gathering Systems
  • CISC 889 Topics: Multi-Agent Systems
  • EDST 462 Language Acquisition
  • LING 409 Syntax I
  • LING 491 Semantics
  • PSYC 310 Sensation and Perception
  • PSYC 340 Cognition
  • PSYC 411 Brain and Computer

Note: PSYC 441 Computers and Cognition is not appropriate as a CIS Concentration Course.

Concentration title: Bioinformatics

Rationale:

Advances in genetic engineering and theoretical biology are fueled by computer technology. To fully understand how computers might be applied to this field, knowledge of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology are important. The courses taken in this concentration emphasize such understanding.

A selection of courses such as those listed below would likely meet your advisor's approval for this concentration. [can be used to work on the Computational Biology Minor offered by the Biology Dept.]

Courses:

  • BISC 401 Molecular Biology of the Cell [need CHEM 104 and BISC 207 among your three required science courses]
  • CISC 436 Bioinformatics
  • ANSC 644 Bioinformatics [these are quite different, student may take both]
  • CISC 437 Database Systems
  • BISC 403 Genetic and Evolutionary Biology
  • BISC 492 Human and Mammalian Cytogenetics
  • CHEM 321 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 322 Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM 527 Introduction to Biochemistry
  • MAST 634 Marine Molecular Science
  • PLSC 300 Principles of Animal and Plant Genetics
  • PLSC 310 Animal and Plant Genetics Laboratory

Concentration title: Cognitive Science

Rationale:

Cognitive Science studies the computational and representational structure of the mind. This concentration provides a general background in Cognitive Science that will provide an understanding of how Computer Science will contribute to Cognitive Science studies, and how Cognitive Science can impact Computer Science.

Note: A concentration in cognitive science can be overlapped with a cognitive science minor. For information about the cognitive science minor please see http://www.udel.edu/catalog/current/as/ling/cgsc.html.

For the BS in CIS concentration in Cognitive Science, a choice of 4 of the following would likely meet your advisor's approval.

Courses:

  • CISC 481 Artificial Intelligence
  • EDST 462 Language Acquisition
  • LING 409 Syntax I
  • LING 491 Semantics
  • LING 610 Syntax II
  • PSYC 310 Sensation & Perception
  • PSYC 314 Brain and Behavior
  • PSYC 340 Cognition Note: PSYC 441 Computers and Cognition is not appropriate as a CIS Concentration Course.

Concentration title: Computer Networks and Web Design

Rationale:

With the internet growing at such huge rates, everything is going to be tied to it soon. Java knowledge along with networking skills will prepare one well for dealing with internet applications. The communications classes deal with the aspects of mass communication (such as the WWW) including legal issues involved with copyrighted material and consumer fraud. These will be valuable for addressing future business-related issues.

Courses:

  • CISC 450 Computer Networks
  • CISC 451 Data Compression in Multimedia
  • CISC 453 Simulation of Computer Networks
  • CISC 474 Advanced Web Technologies
  • COMM 345 Legal Issues of the Mass Media
  • COMM 370 Theories of Mass Communication

Concentration title: Economics

Rationale:

A concentration in Economics provides an opportunity to study the role that technology, especially computers, has played in money and labor management issues, and how technology has changed the way businesses on a whole interact with one another.

The following courses would likely fit this rationale. Note: other appropriate classes need to be added for this concentration.

Courses:

  • ECON 300 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
  • ECON 302 Banking and Monetary Policy
  • ECON 381 Economics of Human Resources

Note: Seats are limited in Business and Economics courses.

Concentration title: Game Design

Rationale:

In order to have a good chance of getting a job in game programming, it is necessary to be familiar with the techniques and technologies used in designing today's games.

For the BS in CIS concentration in Game Design, a choice of 4 of the following courses would likely meet your advisor's approval.

Courses:

  • CISC 367 Educational Game Design
  • CISC 440 Computer Graphics
  • CISC 450 Computer Networks
  • CISC 453 Simulation of Computer Networks
  • CISC 474 Advanced Web Technologies
  • CISC 481 Artificial Intelligence
  • CISC 489 Artificial Intelligence and Games
  • MATH 349 Elementary Linear Algebra

Concentration title: Information Technology

Rationale:

An information technology professional today should be skillful and knowledgeable of networking issues, multimedia, databases, and programming for the internet, given the nature of today's applications. This concentration will prepare one in these important areas. Please note that registering in 800-level courses requires permission from the instructor. Only those with strong grades need apply.

For the BS in CIS concentration in Information Technology a choice of 4 of the following courses would likely meet your advisor's approval.

Courses:

  • ART 307 Multimedia and Interactive Design
  • CISC 437 Database Systems
  • CISC 450 Computer Networks
  • CISC 451 Data Compression in Multimedia
  • CISC 453 Simulation of Computer Networks
  • CISC 474 Advanced Web Technologies
  • CISC 889 Topics: Internet Information Gathering Systems

Concentration title: Intelligent Robots

Rationale:

As technology increases, so will the need for smarter robots. Making intelligent robots combines the needs for artificial intelligence, advanced math, and electrical and mechanical engineering knowledge.

For the BS in CIS concentration in Intelligent Robots, a choice of 4 of the following courses would likely meet your advisor's approval.

Courses:

  • CISC 481 Artificial Intelligence
  • CISC 489 Computer Vision
  • CISC 685 Mechatronics
  • CISC 689 Topics: Robotics
  • MATH 349 Elementary Linear Algebra
  • MATH 426 Intro. to Numerical Analysis
  • ELEG 633 Image Processing

Note: CISC689 Topics: Robotics and CISC685 Mechatronics may not be offered on a regular basis.

Concentration title: Internet Applications

Rationale:

Development of effective Internet applications involves understanding of networks, graphics, multi-media, and databases. Please note that registering in 800-level courses requires permission from the instructor. Only those with strong grades need apply.

For the BS in CIS concentration in Internet Applications, a choice of 4 of the following courses would likely meet your advisor's approval.

Courses:

  • ART 307 Multimedia and Interactive Design
  • CISC 437 Database Systems
  • CISC 440 Computer Graphics
  • CISC 450 Computer Networks
  • CISC 451 Data Compression in Multimedia
  • CISC 453 Simulation of Computer Networks
  • CISC 474 Advanced Web Technologies
  • CISC 889 Topics: Internet Information Gathering Systems
  • ELEG 404 Multimedia Communications

Concentration title: Management Information Systems

Rationale:

This concentration provides a general background in business, with a concentration in the use of computers as a management tool. As there are many different areas of business in which computers can be applied, there are many different business concentrations that could be appropriate, however, if your primary interest is in how business uses computers to gather and process information in order to make better management decisions, this concentration will provide a strong background in these areas.

NOTE: Students wishing to take this concentration must be accepted as an MIS Minor. The following courses have been approved by the College of Business and Economics as appropriate for CIS majors to get an MIS minor.

  • ACCT 200 Survey of Accounting
  • BUAD 100 Introduction to Business
  • MISY 430 Systems Analysis and Implementation
  • MISY 431 Technological Problem Solving
  • MISY 432 Problem Solving Project Management Please note that MISY 325 need not be taken by a CIS major to get the MIS minor. Moreover, MISY 325 may not be counted toward an MIS concentration in CIS. Please see http://www.lerner.udel.edu/departments/accounting-mis/undergraduate/mis-minor/coursework for the application procedure and information about the MIS Minor.

For the BS in CIS concentration in MIS, a choice of 4 of the following courses would likely meet your advisor's approval.

Courses:

  • MISY 430 Systems Analysis and Implementation
  • MISY 431 Technological Problem Solving
  • MISY 432 Problem Solving Project Management
  • CISC 437 Database Systems
  • CISC 474 Advanced Web Technologies
  • CISC 481 Artificial Intelligence
  • ECON 152 Introduction to Macroeconomics

Concentration title: Networking and Distributed Computing

Rationale:

Distributed computing is gaining in popularity. The ability to wisely partition a large computing job and distribute the resultant pieces of work to multiple processes for faster evaluation on a networked system can be very advantageous.

For the BS in CIS concentration in Networking and Distributed Computing, a choice of 4 of the following courses would likely meet your advisor's approval.

Courses:

  • CISC 372 Parallel Programming
  • CISC 450 Computer Networks
  • CISC 451 Data Compression in Multimedia
  • CISC 453 Simulation of Computer Networks

Concentration title: Numerical Computation

Rationale:

This concentration covers topics that prepare one for work in scientific and engineering applications of computing. The material covered in this concentration is also useful in graphics.

For the BS in CIS concentration in Numerical Computation, a choice of 4 of the following courses would likely meet your advisor's approval.

Courses:

  • MATH 302 Differential Equations
  • CISC 372 Parallel Programming
  • CISC 410 Intro to Numerical Analysis I
  • CISC 411 Intro to Numerical Analysis II
  • CISC 440 Computer Graphics
  • MATH 503 Advanced Calculus of Applications

Concentration title: Signal Processing - Communication Networks

Rationale:

This concentration provides a solid understanding of the hardware and low level software problems and solutions to build effective communication networks.

For the BS in CIS concentration in Signal Processing - Communication Networks, a choice of 4 of the following courses would likely meet your advisor's approval.

Courses:

  • CISC 450 Computer Networks
  • CISC 453 Simulation of Computer Networks
  • ELEG 205 Linear Circuit Theory I
  • ELEG 305 Signal Processing I
  • ELEG 306 Signal Processing II
  • ELEG 310 Random Signals and Noise

Concentration title: Software Engineering

Rationale:

This concentration provides a solid foundation for a career that involves design, implementation, and maintenance of large, complex software systems.

For the BS in CIS concentration in Software Engineering, a choice of 4 of the following courses would likely meet your advisor's approval.

Courses:

  • CISC 440 Computer Graphics
  • CISC 437 Database Systems
  • CISC 470 Programming Languages
  • CISC 471 Compiler Construction
  • CISC 474 Advanced Web Technologies
  • CISC 481 Artificial Intelligence

Concentration title: Technical Writing

Rationale:

This concentration provides a solid foundation and considerable experience in technical writing skills needed by almost all computer professionals and researchers. This experience will aid in writing user manuals, research papers, proposals, and project descriptions.

For the BS in CIS concentration in Technical Writing, a choice of 4 of the following courses would likely meet your advisor's approval.

Courses:

  • ENGL 312 Written Communication in Business (if not used for major requirement)
  • ENGL 410 Technical Writing (if not used for major requirement)
  • ENGL 411 Rhetoric for Business and Technical Writers
  • ENGL 412 Business & Technical Publication
  • ENGL 413 Topics in Technical Writing
  • ENGL 414 Technical Editing
  • ENGL 415 Writing in the Professions
  • ENGL 464 Internship in Business/Technical Writing
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